forward ‘How I founded a global trend mag’ INSIDE: + MAKE SOME
MARMALADE DON’T MISS: + WORKOUTS
+ STYLISH HOME
Perched on the water’s edge in Falmouth, float away in stylish surroundings. Dive into delicious food and drink.
Cornish Spring Break 2 nights including dinner, a Cornish Cream Tea on arrival and a complementary room upgrade to a Harbour View room. Stay in February from £295 per room or March from £315 per room based on 2 people sharing.*
Served h e re
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* Terms and conditions apply. Please see our website for full details
‘Hole up with pots of bulbs and seedlings: Seasonal Affective Disorder get back in your box!’ Anne Swithinbank, garden guru, page 26
THE HOTLIST Great days (and nights) out
Make your home office the business
Meet marsala red: officially this year’s hottest shade
The Plymouth psychologist turned art photographer
[contents[ Inside this week... 6
THE WISHLIST The loveliest things to buy this week
WEST IN PICTURES
Great days out across the Westcountry Charity, snow and a baby giraffe
THE CLUE’S IN THE NAME Yes, TV’s Morwenna Banks is Cornish
DARING TO DREAM Amazing pictures from a Plymouth artist
MARMALADE Get stirring with our expert’s how-to guide
FALMOUTH’S FASHIONISTA A 23-year-old with big ambitions
INTERIORS Make your home office a great place to be
BEAUTY The latest treats and treatments
Meet marsala, the colour of the moment Novelist Ruth Saberton shares her secrets
EATING OUT Becky Sheaves goes Japanese in Exeter
THE BEER EXPERT Drink up with our expert Darren Norbury
GADGETS Have fun with these snow toys
MAN & BOY Phil Goodwin, first time dad...
AMBITION Crowd-funding launches Falmouth fashionista
A LOTTA BOTTLE
TURNING THE TIDE
A Plymouth woman’s smart ways with photography
[ welcome [ Spotting the signs of spring: Just this past week or so, I’ve been noticing definite hints of spring about the place: daffodil shoots in the hedge, ever-so-slightly lighter evenings and (less welcome, I admit) the dog shedding hair all over the sitting room carpet. Yes, the season is on the turn at last, and this is a time of anticipation and new beginnings. One Westcountry woman who has - impressively - found a whole new life just recently is Kirsteen Titchener of Plymouth. She’s gone from being a busy mum and practising psychologist to an arty, awardnominated photographer - see one of her remarkable shots above and many more on pages 12-15 today. She’s not the only creative person in West this week, either: our cover girl Olivia Bos-
of the week @SoVeryBritish Today’s plans: 1. Tell people to listen to that wind 2. Visit gym for last time in 2015 3. Put juicer on eBay 4. Biscuits
sert from Falmouth is just 23 years old yet has successfully launched an international fashion magazine. Find out how she did it on page 16 today. On a more down-to-earth level (literally) Anne Swithinbank, our resident gardening guru, is also planning i m a g i n a t iv e l y right now. Catch up with her wise advice on ordering seeds - and more - on pages 26-27. Finally, if you’re in search of somewhere new to visit, then check out Polperro novelist Ruth Saberton’s favourite places in My Secret Westcountry (p 36). She certainly knows some of the loveliest places going - and good pubs too, as befits a former barmaid. Have a fun, relaxing Sunday - and see you next week!
She knows the loveliest places going - and the best pubs too, as befits a former barmaid
Becky Sheaves, Editor
CONTACT: email@example.com Tel: 01392 442250 Twitter @wmnwest
COVER IMAGE: Ben Mostyn
MEET THE TEAM Becky Sheaves, Editor
Bradleys flower scissors, ÂŁ19.95 from www.annabeljames.co.uk
If you buy one thing this week... Prepare for springtime gardening with these neat little flower scissors, ideal for pretty arrangements. They are handmade by British company Bradleys, ÂŁ19.95 from www. annabeljames.co.uk
Finest pink-tinged bubbly from Cornwall’s awardwinning Camel Valley Vineyard, £26.95, www.camelvalley.com
IS IT SUMMER YET?
Use this cheery ceramic sandcastle pot holder to brighten up your desk, £15, www.clareloves.co.uk
The wish List West’s top picks for spending your time and money this week
Store We Adore
Seasalt, Padstow and across the region This Cornish company specialises in clothes made up from bold prints by designers Sophie Chadwick and Laura Watson. The business also stocks locallymade gifts and bed linen is a new addition to the range. Visit www.seasaltclothing.co.uk for branches or call 01326 640075
Ahoy... Men’s ship in a bottle T shirt, £25, White Stuff in Truro, Padstow, Exeter and regionally www.whitestuff.. com
Wishlist Yee ha! This zebra rocker is handmade in Devon from beech wood, £99, newmakers.com
Nibble? Biscuit tin, £8 from BHS www. bhs.co.uk
FOXY The House of Foxy coquette dress, £110, www.20thcenturyfoxy.com
FANCY A BREW? Teapot, £14, from BHS stores and www.bhs.co.uk
Ladybird mobile from Flensted, £18.95, www.scandinavianshop.co.uk
The hotlist: There’s plenty to do right now here in the Westcountry, from candlelit dinners to comedy nights
2. Arty occasion
Bovey Tracey, until March 8 Discover lots of exciting talent (and bespoke bargains) at the Get Fresh free show of new craft talent held by the Devon Guild of Craftsmen. See www. crafts.org.uk for details.
3. Jo Caulfield: Uninformed Opinions Exeter, February 8 Stand–up comedian Jo Caulfield offers razor-sharp observations and sparkling one-liners in her one-night only date at the Phoenix Arts Centre. Tickets from £12 www. exeterphoenix.org.uk or call 01392 667080.
#4 The Woman in Black Truro, February 2-7 This spine-chilling ghost story by Susan Hill comes to the stage at Hall for Cornwall, promising suspense, drama and bold stagecraft. For tickets visit www.hallforcornwall. co.uk or call 01872 262466
#3 4. Candlelit Trerice Near Newquay, February 14 Take a Valentine’s Day candlelit tour of this Elizabethan house owned by the National Trust near Newquay, before enjoying a threecourse dinner. Tickets £20, booking essential 01637 839910 or 875404
My week on moleywest
Gillian celebrates Burns Night with some traditional dancing onight is Burns Night. up again with a pint in either hand. Pour yourself a dram Most memorable was the Fourof single malt, read a some Reel, which involves a stately poem by Robert Burns section of music followed by anand toast Scotland the other in double-time. At this point Brave, still part of the UK by demo- the two couples link arms and cratic choice. Hey, what else have whirled round faster and faster to you got to celebrate on so inauspiform a move nowadays called “the cious a date as January 25? helicopter”. Powered by the boys’ If everything goes according to centrifugal force, the girls would lift plan, I should be nursing a whis- into the air, letting their feet trail key-related hangover and soaking behind. Done properly, it looks very my feet in hot water this morn- striking. Alas, there were a fair few ing, after a heavy night of haggis helicopter wrecks along the way. and Scottish Grown-up reelreeling. ing in a mixed age Have you group is much more ever reeled? sedate - in fact (I It’s excellent learned later) you’re We stagger fun. There are meant to appear through the St various dances, stately or feminine Kew graveyard colourfully as well as stomping named: The Dashand whooping. Or in the windy ing White Sergeant, instead of, I’m not wet darkness to Strip the Willow, quite sure. There Hanover House, are many people the village hall The Duke of Perth. with opinions about It’s fairly it – reeling is, after straightforward all, a throwback really, like to the times when country dancing. Think lots Queen Victoria popularised all of joining hands and circling things Scottish. And the Victorians around, swinging your partliked to do things properly. ner and whirl ing around As an American of Scottish origin, down a line. The patterns I had reeling at my 40th birthday open and close and permeate party, and though people were iniand reconfigure – the geom- tially dubious it was a success. So afetry is pleasing. terwards, Freddy (10) and I thought I first learned how to do it at we’d try out the reeling group in our university. A group of us stuneck of the North Cornwall woods. dents went up to an attic room Every other week between October with a scratchy tape recorder, and January we stagger our way and reeled, with a lot of stamp- through the St Kew graveyard in ing and whooping and shouting. the windy wet darkness, and find At 10.45 the college bar rang the our way to the jolly accordion music bell for “last orders”, at which emanating from the village hall. point all the red-faced reelDisco dancing is fun, but there’s ers would dash back something about learning a real down various staircasdance with steps. You have to cones to the bar and then centrate. You have to work together.
Just love this
Me a-reeling You have to overcome disagreements (“no, I’m sure it’s set twice and then turn, not set and turn”). And when you’ve got it right, it’s poetry. Speaking of poetry, I’m leaving out the man himself, how thoughtless. Let’s drink to Robert Burns, and hangover be hanged. Up, Scotland! Gillian Molesworth grew up in the USA and moved to north Cornwall when she met her husband. Follow her on Instagram on @moleywest 9
In memory: Victoria Milligan, who lost her husband and child in a boating acccident, has raised £275,000 for the Cornwall air ambulance
Neigh: Photographer Guy Harrop took this lovely picture of the first snows this year on Exmoor
Cold: Lots of us went up on the moors to enjoy the snowfall
Triplets arrive: Melanie Thornton from Paignton was persuaded by her husband to try for ‘one more’ baby...
Cute: There’s a baby giraffe at Paignton Zoo
talking points Healthy
ONE OF US Famous faces who live here in the Westcountry
Names for 10 facial piercing types
1 Conch (ear) 2 Madonna (between nose and lip)
3 Labret (lower lip/chin)
4 Daith (ear cartilage) Foods that look like body parts they are good for, according to scientists at SIMS College of Pharmacy.
1 Celery bone 2 Carrot rings eyes
5 Rook (highest fold of ear cartilage)
6 Medusa (philtrum) 7 Tragus (lower ear cartilage) 8 Earl (bridge of nose)
3 Avocados uterus
9 Third eye (forehead)
4 Tomato heart
10 Scaffold (between two
5 Kidney beans kidneys
Morwenna with husband David Baddiel
rims of the ear)
The TV actress and comedy star was born in Cornwall in 1961 and grew up in Flushing, near Falmouth
6 Sweet potatoes pancreas 7 Oranges breasts 8 Onions blood cells
The happy list
9 Walnut brain 10 Ginger stomach
Dear diary... 10 things to make you smile this week 1 West’s new TV ads coming soon to a screen near you!
2 Snowy trips the Alps, or just sliding on Dartmoor Keep it to yourself: 10 famous diary-keepers
3 Baby lambs say aaah.... 4 Buying local support our
1 Samuel Pepys 2 Alan Clark
5 Valentine’s plans cards,
3 Andy Warhol 4 Alice Walker 5 Beatrix Potter 6 Kenneth Williams 7 Stevie Nicks 8 Anais Nin 9 Pete Doherty 10 Marianne Faithfull
dairy farmers = warm glow chocs or a weekend away?
6 Mel & Sue actually very funny in their new TV show
7 Haggis better than it sounds, try some for Burns Night
8 Page 3 gone! At last... 9 Ice rink at Eden there’s still time (closes March 1)
10 Daffodil festivals try the Mawgan Church one, Feb 14-16
Smart lady Morwenna, aged 53, attended Cambridge University between 1981-83 where she joined the famed Footlights comedy group.
Channel 4’s raucous hit sketch show Absolutely in the early 1990s. Stateside She was then hired as a performer in the final series of Saturday Night Live before landing a role in global hit sitcom Sabrina the Teenage Witch.
Older woman Her partner David Baddiel (50) was a couple of years below her at CamDID YOU KNOW? bridge. They live in north London and Morwenna is have two children called Dolly and the voice of Ezra. TV credits She has appeared in many TV comedy shows including Armstrong and Miller, The Lenny Henry Show and Little Britain.
Mummy Pig in TV show Peppa Pig
Write stuff Morwenna often writes as well as performs, with many credits including the breast cancer drama Goodbye, aired on Radio 4 in 2013. Versatile Morwenna is not just the voice of Mummy Pig, but also Madame Gazelle and Dr Hamster the Vet in the hit children’s show Peppa Pig.
Voiceover queen One of her specialities is voicing over cartoons. She’s been the voice of Barbie in several movies. Early break Her first big break in TV came when she was teamed up with Jack Docherty and Gordon Kennedy for
Jonathan Ross, Jane Goldman, David Baddiel and Morwenna Banks 11
[ dream photography
Plymouth’s Kirsteen Titchener has swapped a career as a psychologist to take photographs instead. She tells Catherine Barnes how she uses modern technology to create these stunning dreamscapes
spent my 20s as a mother and now I’m trying to find a new direction,” says Kirsteen Titchener - Dr Kirsteen, in fact. And so she is taking the photographic portrait to a whole new level, creating pictures set in fantasy worlds that evoke illustrator John Tenniel’s Alice in Wonderland. “I think by offering something that’s a little bit different, you can set yourself apart.” As mother of a young son, Luke, now 20, Kirsteen combined education with motherhood, enrolling at Plymouth University and achieving a degree and then a PhD in psychology by the age of 28. Incredibly, art was never a part of her life back then : “By the standards of which it was measured at the time, I was useless at art at school,” she says. “As a child I was quite imaginative, but didn’t draw or paint, although I played the piano, which I suppose you could describe as artistic. But I’d never thought about photography as a medium to produce art.” Happily married for the past eight years to her second husband Neil, 51, who’s a computer analyst, Kirsteen, 41, lives in Plymouth. She says that she began her interest in photography when she, Neil and son Luke spent four
years living in Australia. It was there that she began to learn more about photography and playing with light, and then when the family came back to the Westcountry, she gave up her profession as a psychologist to focus upon her art. “We came back in 2012 - Neil’s a twin and was missing his brother,” she explains. “When we came back, I made the decision to no longer be a psychologist. I realised I just didn’t love it enough. I’ve found I’m more comfortable being artistic than in an office, although I didn’t realise that until I stopped working from one.” Animal-lover Kirsteen set up her first business - menageriephoto. co.uk - specialising in enchanting pet portraits. She learned that spaniels don’t sit still, wrinkly Sharpeis look adorable and mini Dachshunds tend to be quite relaxed, she reveals. “It’s been my bread and butter work, but I’d also be playing around with the more arty side of things,” she says. She has spent several years exploring the possibilities of Photoshop, digitally altering her photographs to produce striking and surprising results. This is the way she creates her magic and she believes, belongs “as much in the artist’s studio as paintbrushes, chisels or clay”.
‘The way I use Photoshop is so different from airbrushing a model to present an unrealistic idea of beauty’
Interview Model Jen Brook poses for one of Kirsteen’s remarkable ‘dreamscapes’
“Often, I’ll ‘see’ the image before I take the photo Photoshop has also enabled Kirsteen to transport her subjects to enchanting places beyond the bounds of a far more mundane reality. A magical portrait of her friend’s daughter, Erin (opposite) is rather like a 21st century take on the famous Cottingley Fairies hoax photographs in which two imaginative little Victorian girls fooled the world. But this actual photo of young Erin was originally taken in a car park. “Her mum loved the picture, so we sat down and between us, the woodland evolved. So long as the light and quality is right, I can work from photos provided,” Kirsteen explains. She has also created an Alice-inWonderland style portrait of her niece Georgina peering around a door, from a snap that initially had a laundry-laden bannister as a backdrop. “Children want to ride dinosaurs and go to the moon and I can do that for them in my photographs. It’s fun and, I think, it doesn’t date,” she adds.
Interview ‘The Grip’ Kirsteen’s striking self portrait
“I’ve been spending 16 hours a day in front of a computer creating on Photoshop. I’m driving my husband to distraction,” she laughs. “The way I use Photoshop is so obviously art; it’s different from airbrushing a model and presenting unrealistic images of beauty. It comes from within and is tied up in human emotion.” Last weekend, Kirsteen was in London as a shortlisted finalist at The Societies’ Photographer of the Year awards. The judges picked up on one piece in particular, this self-portrait (left) that Kirsteen titled The Grip. “It is tied up with dark days, although some people see it differently. I really don’t care what they see, so long as it tells them a story. Sometimes I feel that titles can be a little too leading,” she reflects. “It’s odd that I’m doing self-portraits, as I hate being photographed. Usually if someone’s taking a snap, I’d rather not be in it. But I don’t see this artowrk as me - I’m quite introverted. “For my work now, I’ll sit down with a client and imagine where they’d like to be - somewhere dreamy, dark or mystical and create a piece of art around that. It takes a long time, but I’d like to get my work into galleries,” says Kirsteen, with an eye on the future. “In ten years time, I’d like to be recognised in the fine art world using photography and Photoshop as a medium, but it’s still very early days.” See more of Kirsteen’s work at www.moragphotography.co.uk
Top: Kirsteen took the original photograph of young Erin (above) in a carpark before digitally altering the background to a mgical forestscape. She has pictured herself, above, swimming in Plymouth Gin 15
photography: Ben Mostyn
On fashion and
Sarah Pitt talks to Falmouth’s Olivia Bossert about her successful project setting up her own international fashion magazine, from home eing creative can be a selfish thing. When you put everything into making something original, whether in words, pictures or music, your own work can consume you. In this context, Falmouth fashion photographer Olivia Bossert’s decision to lay aside her camera in favour of helping other photographers make their mark on the world seems unusually altruistic. Not that Olivia, 23, sees it that way. She hatched plans to set up her own fashion magazine, with friend and fellow fashion photographer Megan Breukelman, while she was still a student at Falmouth University just over a year ago. “I just love magazines,” she says simply, by way of explanation. Called Atlas, Olivia’s magazine showcases beautiful work by emerging fashion photographers from around the world. Initially it was an online-only publication, but its tenth and most recent edition - called ‘The Brisk Issue’ – is the first to burst gloriously and glossily onto newsstands, after Olivia ran a successful crowd-funding push to take raise money and take
the magazine to the next stage. “It is a huge amount of work but it is rewarding, really fun,” she says. “After New Year, everyone was moaning about having to go back to their jobs, but I was saying, I really want to get back to work!” The current issue of the magazine whisks readers away from the daily grind with escapist and creative images, including stunning pictures (see page 20 today) by a London photographer called Stephanie Yt, herself just 22. They depict a dark-haired model against a backdrop of mountains and lochs in the Scottish Highlands. Like all the best fashion images, these are pictures that make you dream. Atlas is now stocked in Selfridges, the retail home of cutting edge fashion, as well as closer to home in newsagents in Falmouth. “Megan and I originally met on Facebook,” says Olivia. “We only met face to face for the first time about six months ago when I flew out to see her in New York, where she lives. “We were both photographers, and there is quite a big community of photographers online, which I was quite active in,” she says. “Megan and I started
Olivia’s magazine is now stocked in Selfridges, not to mention corner shops in her home town of Falmouth
talking about the idea of having our own magazine. We both loved magazines and loved the internet and really wanted to try it out for ourselves. There was no ambition at the start, it was just a really fun project.” At the time, Olivia – who is originally from Geneva in Switzerland – was spending time taking her own fashion photography shoots in Cornwall, particularly enjoying spending time “anywhere on the coast”. But since launching the magazine, with business mentoring support from the Unlocking Potential fund in Cornwall, she simply hasn’t had the time. Not that she’s complaining. “We send a theme out every couple of months to photographers, to stylists and to whoever else wants to be involved. We tell them what the deadline is and they have a couple of weeks to organise their work,” she says. “I get about 30 submissions a day - 1000s over the year - and I go through them all. We choose the best ones
Olivia Bossert, above and left, is only 23 but has launched her own successful fashion magazine, called Atlas, while working from home in Falmouth, Cornwall
I want to give people the
opportunity to be seen...
GETTING ATLAS ON THE MAP
and publish them. It is a really great moment when you first see an image and go ‘wow’. “I don’t include my own photographs, though. I just have so much sent to us from so many people that if I was to include my own work, I would have less space for others. I really want to give people the opportunity to be seen, that’s what it is all about.” While the photography appearing in Atlas is all of a very high standard, one proviso is that it should not have been published elsewhere. This keeps the focus of the magazine firmly on encouraging those starting out. “There was a need for somewhere that didn’t feel intimidating, where people could get their work showcased,” says Olivia. “We are a young
team, and we want to be creative, we like beautiful imagery and we like putting it all together. It is a joy to be able to work with these amazing photographers. It really is a labour of love.” Olivia discovered fashion magazines for the first time aged 15. “I was off sick from school one day, and my mum came back from the supermarket with a copy of Teen Vogue. “I had never read a magazine like it before, but I remember sitting on the couch and flicking through it and saying ‘Wow, this is so cool’. After that I read everything, Elle, Cosmo, Vogue. It became quite an obsession. “If you’d asked me five years ago what I wanted to do, I would have said I wanted to work for Vogue. But as a result of doing this, I would
Olivia’s determination to see her online magazine become a real, hold-in-your-hand glossy publication was, she admits, a very personal crusade: “There has been so much talk about how print media is going to disappear, but is really isn’t, because people still want magazines. They still want to be able to sit down and have a bit of time to look through something at their leisure. “From the photographers point of view, too, they really value being able to see their images in print. It is really important to them.” Her new publication is deliberately “a really beautiful thing”, she says. “That was really important, that it should become a collector’s item, not just something to throw away when you’d finished reading it.” The magazine costs £10 a copy and is on sale in London at Selfridges and elsewhere, as well as Arwenack News and Moor News in Falmouth. You can order a copy at www. theatlasmagazine.com
IMAGE: STEPHANIE YT
We want to be creative, we like
THIS PICTURE: PHOEBE CHEONG
beautiful imagery and we like putting it together
say that I’d rather work for myself, and create my own magazine,” she says. “If Atlas could be as big as Vogue one day, that would be amazing.” Olivia now has a small team working with her on the day-to-day production of the magazine, including graphic designer Jessica Bailey, a fellow Falmouth University graduate, with input from New York-based Megan via the internet. Financial help from the Unlocking Potential fund, which gives European Union help to Cornish businesses, has helped smooth the magazine’s transition to print form, along with cash from many small investors through a crowdfunding appeal on the Kickstarter website. But Olivia knows that advertising revenue will be needed in the future to help Atlas continue. “It is a struggle, I’m not going to pretend it is easy, but I’m proud of myself and the whole team. Even if it ended tomorrow for some crazy reason, I have produced a magazine and together we have given all these photographers the chance to have their work seen. I’m proud of that.” 20
eat out 21
Wafer desk, rolly drawers, cedric chair, highwire storage unit and Gaston desklamp all www.loaf.com
Globes £24.50 (down from £39.50) alisonathome.com
Study in style When it comes to creating a home workspace, you’re the decor boss - so say goodbye to grey and boring. Gabrielle Fagan reveals some bonus-worthy looks ime off over Christmas can leave many of us yearning not to return to the office. And, increasingly, we’re taking the option not to do so. Recent research reveals the proportion of people working from home has reached a record high - 13.9% of employees, according to the Office for National Statistics. And in the South West, this trend is even more marked, given the rural nature of the landscape here and the possibilities offered by high speed broadband. What’s more, 70% of home renovation plans now include space for a study, further demonstration of the fact that a home office or work space is a core room in today’s homes. So if you want somewhere simply to deal with bills and household
management, a retreat where you can pursue a hobby, a study which doubles as a children’s homework area, or a serious state-of-the-art work zone, now’s the time to redecorate your home office. So what do you need to consider? “The last thing you need is clutter if you’re setting up a home office. If time is limited, you don’t want to waste precious minutes clearing a space,” says Amanda Watson, head of design for fitted furniture specialists Betta Living. “Built-in cupboards maximise every square inch of the room, and with everything neatly stowed away at the end of the day, you won’t be reminded of work or tasks left unfinished while you’re trying to relax. That’s especially important if the area’s sited in a bedroom or living
Nayoko desk, Marcel Mona dining chair, Grenada pendant light and hybrid task table lamp all Marks & Spencer
[[ Choose a colour scheme carefully, especially on the wall you face when working because colours affect mood
room.” Shelves built around a door frame utilise commonly wasted wall space. Choose a colour scheme carefully, especially on the wall you face as you sit at a desk, because colours affect mood; blue calms and red stimulates, for example. “People often presume functionality is the most important aspect of a home office, but a primary consideration for me is comfort - being comfortable and relaxed in a workspace is paramount to being productive,” says Jamie Graham, managing and creative director at Graham & Green. “So the ingredients for my home office recipe are simplistic style and design
classics, such as those from the Fifties and Sixties. A functional, sleek chair teamed with a solid but beautiful desk is the best foundation. “I like a business-like interpretation with essentials such as a clock and wire desk baskets - but that doesn’t mean boring. Basic kit sits alongside quirky framed posters found on buying trips abroad, and favourite family photos.” Experiment before making a final decision on exactly where you site yourself within the home, to ensure the spot is exactly right. Adequate storage for paperwork and equipment is essential; a ‘clear desk’ policy’s as important for efficiency at home as it is in the office. If you have the space and budget, release your inner executive and create a tailored space, proclaiming your status with bespoke, luxury fittings. “Having a dedicated room, or investing in bespoke furniture, ensures a space not only truly works but will be 23
Understairs home office, above, Neville Johnson. Brilliant white style, right, Betta Living an infinitely more appealing environment than a soulless public workplace,” says Simon Meyrick, designer for bespoke furniture specialists, Neville Johnson. “By mixing painted doors, drawers and shelving with a wide selection of veneers, gloss and glass finishes, a home office will have a modern cutting-edge look. In spacestarved homes, we maximise storage by utilising sloping ceiling areas or awkward corners like under stairs.” Architects recommend a ‘work space’ area should be at least 10ft by 10ft, with items used on a daily basis within an arm’s reach of the desk seating position. A well-planned area gives a first impression of organisation and professionalism, vital if you host business meetings at home. Another option is to create a more “factorystyle” workspace. Functional furniture suits a work area robust enough to endure the rough and tumble of family life, and is also appropriate for a fashionably rugged contemporary setting, with exposed brick work and wood floors. “If you’re seeking that elusive laid-back but business-like atmosphere for a home office, a pared-down, industrial look could be for you,” advises Claire Hornby, creative stylist at Barker & Stonehouse. “Start with a simple
range of reclaimed wooden furniture, with solid lines and minimal detailing, then team with metallics and cotton and linen fabrics to soften the look. Chrome and steel are too
modern and glossy. Instead, opt for the soft sheen of aluminium, bronze or fashionable copper accessories to complement a rustic feel. You’ll soon be working in style.”
Light £210 www. barkerandstonehouse.co.uk
Add fun touches to your sleek and stylish home office
Walnut wall clock £59 clareloves.co.uk
Bunny scissors and paperclips £22 maidenshop.com
Phone £35.10 (reduced from £39) redcandy.co.uk
Desk lamp £20 tesco.com
Pencil set £9 www. redcandy.co.uk
Swivel chair £179 made.com
Planting the seeds of change Devon’s Anne Swithinbank, panellist on Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time, is getting ready for the new season in her garden n the brink of a new growing season, we have peas and broad beans germinated outdoors (hardy varieties Pea ‘Meteor’ and bean ‘Aquadulce Claudia’) and more under glass, rubbing shoulders with pots of parsley and beetroot. Sown but not showing yet are spinach and summer cabbage. These early starts might seem foolhardy but I’m always trying to squeeze a few extra weeks or even days out of our growing season and just love to be surrounded by fresh young shoots. I don’t care if later sowings catch up, because I can think of nothing more positive than setting out on a potentially dismal January day, across a garden redolent of witch hazel, Christmas box and viburnum, to hole up in the greenhouse surrounded by pots of bulbs and seedlings. Seasonal Affective Disorder get back in your box! Yet there is something worrying me and that is a general failure to fill out veg seed orders and restock my tin. I’ve told everybody else to do it but prevarication is my middle name. Instead of sorting through packets and making lists, I convinced myself this job was only possible if I overhauled the office first and brought down some extra desks from upstairs. One thing lead to another, I’ve thrown away a filing cabinet, sifted through folders dating from before we moved here sixteen years ago because we went to a party in France instead of packing, discarded dozens of ancient notebooks, transported five huge spiders and composted dusty old house plants. The new desks are in place but there is still a day’s worth of decluttering to accomplish and not an order made. How do you come by your seeds? Many of mine arrive unbidden via magazine covers, or direct
from seed companies for me to trial and if I’m not careful I end up using these instead of the varieties I would choose for myself. Impulse buys are made from the racks at garden centres but for the best range possible, I really want to peruse, in paper form or on the internet, the catalogues of specialist seed suppliers. Suttons, based in Paignton, Devon (0844 922 0606 www.suttons.co.uk) is a good starting point and as well as a comprehensive A to Z, there are sections highlighting varieties for pots and baskets and small spaces. Varieties with RHS
Award of Garden Merit (judged by the RHS to be ‘of outstanding excellence for ordinary garden decoration or use’) are clearly marked. If you are trying to decide between one variety and another, an award winner would be a reliable choice. Edwin Tucker (01364 652233) is another Devonbased company with an extensive and informative catalogue including seed potatoes, green manures and an admirable selection of pumpkin and other winter squash. Moving further afield, Robinson’s Seeds and Plants (01524 791210 www. mammothonion.co.uk) is a great favourite and I
This week’s gardening tips Anne’s advice for your garden always like to leaf through the Franchi catalogue (020 8427 5020 www.seedsofitaly.com), especially for Italian specialities such as luscious tomatoes, radicchio and chicory, borlotto beans and basils. For tomatoes and chilli peppers, Simpson’s Seeds (01985 845004 www.simpsonsseeds.co.uk) are a good port of call. They had me hooked straight away by the picture of chilli ‘Yellow Scorpion’ printed on the front cover. The boxy-shaped, almost orange fruits have strange, devilish tails and I hope I have the courage to grow them, as they’re described as “very hot, though not insanely”. If you are bewildered by the sheer choice offered by some seed companies, the Sarah Raven seed range (0845 092 0283 www.sarahraven. com) presents you with a really good selection. Planning where all the veg will grow is important, so I draw up an annual plot plan so I can make sure the major veg groups are rotated into different beds every year to avoid a build up of pests and diseases. Ideally, the likes of brassicas, peas and beans, potatoes, squash and roots won’t return to the same bed for four years. At least, that’s the plan...
• When seed potatoes arrive, set them rose end uppermost in old egg boxes. The rose end has most buds and is opposite the base, where the potato was attached to the parent plant. Place in a cool, well lit and frost free place to make small shoots before
planting in March or April. • Move plants such as roses or shrubs which are still young but growing in the wrong place. But only when the soil is neither frozen or waterlogged. Be sure not to bury them deeper than their original position
Question time with Anne West reader queries answered by Anne Swithinbank
Can you recommend a climbing rose with red flowers to train over a pergola?
My favourite is the climbing sort of ‘Etoile d’Hollande’. The stems are somewhat stiff but the plant is really vigorous and has done well for me on light sand and heavy clay soils. The large flowers are a deep, rich crimson with delicious, strong scent and after the initial flush in June and July, another round of buds opens in late summer and autumn. I trained ours over a pergola along with the early Dutch honeysuckle and the two together were amazing. ‘Guinee’ bears bewitchingly large, deepest red, incredibly fragrant blooms but is not such a good doer so I planted mine alongside my Etoile d’Hollande’.
I thought raspberries were easy to grow but they don’t last long in our garden. Canes take off initially but gradually die back.
This can be a problem in the South West where we tend to have high winter rainfall. On any kind of poorly draining ground, raspberry canes and roots rot away and growth the following year is poor. They really do need good drainage in order to thrive. We mistakenly planted our first lot where their feet were too wet and at the same time as the original canes dying off, they sent suckers out looking for higher ground. Having rooted themselves uphill, they eventually stopped and colonised some better soil. Start again in a better drained part of your garden and if necessary, plant in wide ridges.
Send your questions to Anne at westmag@ westernmorningnews.co.uk
Make a runner bean trench. Hungry plants benefit from well-conditioned soil. You can just dig in or spread lots of organic matter or dig a trench 60cm/24in deep, line with a few leaves of newspaper and pile in kitchen peelings and green garden waste, capping with a thin layer of soil as you go.
Feed indoor plants showing signs of growth. Our ferns, palm and Swiss cheese plant in the house could do with a boost. In the porch arum lilies, cyrtanthus and cyclamen will benefit from a general purpose liquid feed.
We present the beauty treats and cheats of the week, recommended by West magazine’s Catherine Barnes, with help from daughter Tilly, 17.
Sheer bliss Try Urban Decay’s Sheer Revolution Lipsticks (£15.50) for an ultimate gloss that applies like a creamy lippie and has similar staying power. Ten shades include a nude, berries and this adorable pink, Sheer Obsessed launches at
www.urbandecay. co.uk on Thursday.
Steamcream’s orange-flower water scented all-in-onemoisturiser is made with oatmilk for sensitive (and even baby) skin. You can customise this pretty new tin which launches on February 1. It’s £13 from www.asos.com
essential! This limited edition aromatherapy bath and shower oil collection (£30)from natural body care brand BLEND Collective has been formulated with passion fruit, sea kelp and corn silk with Valentine’s Day in mind. www.
Nail the perfect manicure This Bio Sculpture lavender oil enriched gel is great for conditioning nails that have become dry or flaky. Apply two coats for subtle colour, or as a base for your favourite lacquer. £8 at www.biogel.co.uk
Scrub up, honey This gorgeous Honey & Sugar Body Scrub - £21 is made in Cornwall by Organic Trevarno - a cleansing, smoothing buff that also smells amazing. £21 from www.
the review Three of the best:
Refreshers Drooping eyes, sallow skin and a complete inability to shake off the January blues? Help is at hand, says Katie Wright Stay cool A cooling make-up remover, like this Ioma gel formula, instantly freshens the eye area. If you use it first thing to remove any lingering dregs of last night’s mascara, it does double duty as a clean up operation and wake-up call. Ioma Fresh Gel Eye
Makeup Remover, £20 from Boots.
Bryt idea Bryt Boost Serum is a super-hydrating oil that’s best left to soak into your skin overnight. £20, www.
fave! The eyes have it Puffiness and dark circles? Aveda’s Botanical Kinetics range includes this Energizing Eye Creme which contains hydrating liquorice root extract and Brazilian Cupuacu Butter. £28 from www.aveda.
A zesty shower gel will awaken your senses, in an altogether lovelier way than a bracing cold shower. Le Couvent de Minimes’ delightfully named Botanical Cologne Of The Morning (£19) and awakening Shower Dew (£7), are scented with basil, orange and lemon the combination’s deliciously refreshing and comforting at the same time. Find them
[[ A once-a-week deep cleanse mask is essential for promoting cell regeneration under the skin surface
both at Boots.
Mask magic A once-a-week deep cleanse mask is essential for promoting cell regeneration under the skin surface. Trilogy Mineral Radiance Mask is a traditional clay formula, featuring astringent extracts and moisturising oils. £19.50 from www.trilogy-
products.com Want a review? Send your request to firstname.lastname@example.org 29
A guide to:
Getting fit How are your New Year resolutions going? Here’s our advice on how to stick with your workout plans long-term orget forking out on expensive wearable fitness technology, a recent survey of tWestcountry gym bunnies has identified the key traits that help them stick with their fitness regimes. The Gym Group (with a gym in Plymouth) found that its most determined keepfitters tend to fall into two categories - and it has dubbed them Strivers and Planners. These are the people most likely to stick to their New Year fitness resolutions. The survey of members at The Gym in Plymouth explored the personal attributes that help gym goers focused on achieving their fitness goals. Strivers, it found, set themselves regular goals and targets, while Planners keep on track by booking specific time slots into their weekly schedule - and (crucially) sticking to them. Almost three quarters of the Plymouth gym’s users said that striving towards a specific goal such as losing weight for a wedding or milestone birthday was key. More still have set themselves a challenge, such as signing up to a triathlon or marathon, saying this provided even better motivation than working towards more ‘social’ goals, such as dropping a jeans size. And despite the buzz around technology, it seems that being a techie, and using the latest gadgets to monitor your progress, won’t necessarily help to keep you on track. Over four fifths of those surveyed said that, besides using the gym apparatus, other gadgets were not a huge motivation for them. “The success of the Strivers is reflected in the huge increase of middle-aged men in Lycra – sometimes dubbed ‘Mamils’ - who are now competing in sporting events,” says James Jordan, a personal trainer based at The Gym in Plymouth. “Women who maintain an exercise habit have an equal focus on sporting goals like these, but begin even earlier in life. The highest proportion of female Strivers are aged between 18 and 25 years old.” Yet while 43 per cent of people said that having a gym buddy was a great encouragement, those of us within the older age brackets are more confident about going it alone without the moral support. Meanwhile, a fifth of Planners, who like
Monday Wednesday Saturday
[ [ Some have set themselves a challenge, such as signing up to a triathlon or marathon, saying this provided even better motivation
to achieve success by strictly scheduling their workouts each week, preferring to work out before 8am to kick-start their days. If that’s left you feeling motivated, James Jordan has some tips to help keep you on track and sticking to a routine: “To get your day off to a flying start, have a high protein breakfast. It’ll boost your metabolism and help burn more calories throughout the day,” he says. “Secondly, set realistic short-term goals, combined with a few lifestyle changes. This will keep you on track for the most noticeable transformations over time. Thirdly, do more weight bearing exercise, such as using free weights or resistance machines to help build muscle mass. The more muscle mass a person has, the more fat they will burn over the day. For women, resistance training helps prevent the onset of osteoporosis as they age.”
And if you are in need of some inspiration to turn you from a rookie into a Striver, then look out for Sport England’s inspiring new ads. The new ‘This Girl Can’ campaign launched this week, and shows real women exercising - in every shape and size (see panel, right). There’s no alienating ‘Go hard or go home’ type messaging. And this isn’t about telling women they ‘should’ be working out, in order to lose weight, or whatever. One ad depicts Victoria, a 29-year-old A&E nurse, whose spin classes give her just the boost she needs to cope with a stressful night shift. Then there’s 31-year-old Kelly, who pops on a workout DVD or some music at home, so that being a single mum doesn’t have to stop her from exercising. And Grace, who loves nothing more than getting outdoors on her bike - it’s exhilarating, relaxing, and no gym membership fees required. The fact she’s (in her own words!) a bit slow really does not matter. Of course, time limitations, childcare and cost are all factors that can stop us exercising as much as we’d perhaps like to; but Sport England found that the biggest barrier women admitted to is fear of judgement, says CEO Jennie Price. “I think we can put on free sessions and offer creches and give people a really wide range of fitness choices, yet if in your head you’re still thinking, ‘There’s no way I’m going to take my clothes off and put on a sports kit’, then none of that is going to make a difference, and I think that’s fundamental.”
Jennie Price, CEO of Sport England: “We did a lot of research beforehand,” says Jennie Price, CEO of Sport England, who is leading the new This Girl Can campaign. “We’ve known for a long time that the gender gap between men and women in the UK is very stubborn in sports participation - around two million more men than women take part regularly. “But what I’m very cheered by is that 75% of women want to be more active, which we discovered through our research.” The
campaign is due to run until March, with TV and cinema ads and posters all set to encourage us to have a go. To find out more, visit www.thisgirlcan.co.uk
Monthly membership at The Gym Group Plymouth costs £12.99. For more information, visit www.thegymgroup.com
THE KEEP FIT COLUMN WHERE ONE WOMAN TRIES EVERYTHING:
this week: SNOOKER
Mum of three Sam Taylor, 35, from Cardinham near Bodmin is behind Sofa Dodger, the website with wealth of keep-fit activities at a place near you. This week she tries: Snooker Our local snooker club is one up from a tin shack. When I drive past it nearly every day, it always makes me smile, although I’d never actually been in, let alone played snooker. I occasionally play the odd game of pool, so I was confident I would be at least able to hit the things, when I went along with Dad. But my random hitting and hoping and his “just missed” pots meant I glanced at the clock and wondered how long it would take us to get through one frame.
Suddenly Dad got into gear and started potting balls from all angles. I struggled with the length of the table, using a rest, using a spider, using a long cue. Forty minutes in and we eventually got to the colours – I was determined to pot one. It sat tantalisingly over the pocket. I chalked my cue and tried to control my adrenaline. The frame ended after an hour, Dad scoring 60 odd and me a measly 10. I enjoyed the game though - and seeing inside the fabled “green shack”.
GET INVOLVED: Try something new or tell the world about your own keep fit class for free at www.sofadodger.co.uk 31 33
Red alert! Be inspired by the wine cellar with 2015’s hottest hue. Lisa Haynes reveals how to wear the colour of the year M&S wool skirt £58 polo neck £29.50 wool coat down from £299 to £179
Top Shop Lips in wicked £8
f you need an excuse to have some fun this week, pour yourself a nice glass of red and call it research. Meet colour authority Pantone’s top tip for 2015: Marsala. A robust, earthy red, it’s the perfect transitional tone to add to your wardrobe that will take you take from winter to spring. “Much like the wine that gives Marsala its name, this tasteful hue emanates a sophisticated natural earthiness,” says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Colour Institute. “The impactful, full-bodied qualities of Marsala make for an elegant statement used on its own or as an accent.” So why not uncork Marsala and add a splash of this year’s colour to your closet? This colour doesn’t scream statement - it’s surprisingly soft and muted for a red. The reddish-brown hue is rich but grounding, making it work for both casual and eveningwear. “Marsala is an elegant colour to wear, as long as you have the right colouring for it,” says Veronique Henderson at Colour Me Beautiful
Dune clutch down from £55 to £38
Butter London nail varnish in Tramp Stamp £12
Daxon trousers £35
Topshop padded jacket £150
(www.colourmebeautiful.co.uk). “Wear it headto-toe if you have more of a soft colouring - think Jennifer Aniston. For everyone else, try teaming it with other colours.” For a quick test, hold the colour under your chin and see if your complexion gives you a beautiful flush, she advises. Pantone describes Marsala as a “highly varietal shade” that combines well with neutrals. Try mixing your new-found red with taupes and greys to soften up the colour. Teamed starkly against black, it’s more of a dark and dramatic statement. If you’re feeling dedicated to 2015’s colour, wear Marsala top-to-toe, teaming together different textures like faux fur, lace and big knits to add interest. More hesitant? Weave Marsala into your outfit via a print on one piece, like a top or shirt. Those not mad on Marsala can still get the colour injection with accessories. Veronique Henderson advises: “Don’t go for a necklace or scarf that’s too close to the face, but a bracelet, handbags or shoes will work a treat.”
Tu at Sainsburys lace striped t-shirt £20
Little White Lies Ziggy shirt down from £130 to £65 littlewhitelieslondon.co.uk
Wallis shoes down from £99 to £66.50
La Redoute fine knit mohair jumper from £21 shorts £16.10
The edit For casual style, try youthful dresses, ankle boots and a cross-body bag
M & Co £35
Dorothy Perkins £25
Oliver Bonas £89.50
La Redoute £29
M & S Indigo £45
Phase Eight £69
M & S £65
Dunster One of the jewels of Exmoor, chocolate-box pretty Dunster has more than 250 listed buildings, a beautiful castle, lovely shops and places to enjoy gorgeous food. Although it feels like it’s nestled in the depths of the countryside miles from anywhere, it’s just a few miles from the Somerset coast and nearest resort town, Minehead.
Where to stay: The Old Priory is a wonderful B&B owned and run by Jane Forshaw, who also offers a very pretty self catering cottage which sleeps up to four. See for yourself at: www. Dunster Dovecote
Visit the doll museum
IMAGES: EDDY GOSLING
A WEEKEND IN...
theoldpriory-dunster.co.uk. Find a host of other lovely cottages to stay at www.thebestofexmoor. co.uk. The Yarn Market Hotel on the high street is family run and has a number of dog-friendly rooms available - its proximity to the Coleridge way makes it popular with walkers. A weekend night’s stay costs from £70 per person and four poster beds are available in some rooms. This hotel has a packed programme of activity stays throughout the year, including by-appointment behind-the-scenes visits to Dunster Castle. Details at: www.yarnmarkethotel.co.uk.
What to do: Once home to the Luttrell family, Dunster Castle opens to visitors in March, but the National Trust owned gardens and grounds it’s set in are open during the winter. Peep through the medieval gates of the nearby Dream Garden. The Dunster Museum and Doll Collection is free to visit - but be aware that donations are a must to keep this quirky community-run attraction running. Long may it do so, because it’s slightly eccentric and utterly wonderful. Set to reopen this season from half term, it’s been home to Mollie Hardwicke’s ‘family’ of dolls since 1971. Many are over 100 years old and not a few are ever-so-slightly scary! Where to shop: Local man Eddy Gosling deserves a mention - he runs an IT business in the town and has created Dunster’s very own website: www.visitdunster.co.uk, which is a marvellous guide. There’s plenty to browse in the locally-run shops that line its cobbled streets. Hummingbird is a bit like West’s Wishlist – full of gorgeous things! - and Cobbles Books is a
wonderful place to browse for second hand, rare and unusual old reads. The Chocolate House, also on the High Street sells delicious treats and also doubles as a super coffee house.
Where to eat: Reeves varies its interesting and tasty menus; a dish of Exmouth scallops on black pudding with a pumpkin and pear puree to start is £11, mains include garlic and rosemary lamb with root vegetable crisps, fennel puree and a red wine and mint jus (£18). Hathaways, open from February, offers a two course meal for £22.95, with mains including free range Somerset pork in cider and Vialone Nano risotto with beetroot and parmesan finished with pistachio. Cobblestones Restaurant prides itself on its Sunday roasts – choose from pork, beef, turkey or a bit of each, with the full works costing just £9.95 (£6.50 for children). 35
My Secret Westcountry Ruth Saberton Novelist Ruth Saberton has just returned to Cornwall from New York, researching the follow-up to her breakthrough bestseller Katy Carter Wants a Hero. She’s also just set to launch the first of her new Polwenna Bay series of novels, inspired by her home town of Polperro. My favourite...
[[ ‘I’ve dabbled with cheese pasties but it has to be steak for me. The seagulls help out with the crust’
Winter walk: I taught at Bodmin College for ten years and every day my drive to work took me through the beautiful Lanhydrock estate. It was a journey that I never stopped appreciating, as it stunning at any time of the year. My favourite winter walk is from the small car park there at Respryn, through the ornate gates and up the drive to the main house. It weaves its way alongside huge cross country jumps that make my heart bellyflop into my boots, passes by ancient trees and finally arrives at the formal gardens by the house. Event: I absolutely love the Fowey Regatta Week in August. From the heart-stopping Red Arrows tearing across the sky to myriad boats clotting the estuary to magical fireworks on the final Saturday – there is something for everyone. The town teems with life; bands play, gigs race and even the smallest boats can take part in the torchlight procession. It was the inspiration for my book Escape for the Summer after I saw four girls having a whale of a time in their little motorboat… Food: It has to be a Cornish pasty! What else tastes equally as good whether you’re sitting on the wall in St Mawes, on the beach at Newquay or out on the water? I’ve dabbled with cheese and veggie varieties but it has to be a traditional steak one for me. The seagulls tend to help out with the crust. Pub: This has got to the Blue Peter Inn in my home town of Polperro. Practically dipping
PHOTO: ROSIE SPOONER
PHOTO: ADDAM GIBBARD/VISIT CORNWALL
The Fowey Regatta
its toes into the harbour, it’s lit by fairy lights and candles, warmed by crackling log fires and serves some of the best and heartiest meals you’ll ever come across. Their ploughman’s lunch is wonderful and the Sunday roast will leave you wanting a stomp across the cliffs to work it off – if you manage to eat it all of course! The Blue Peter has fond memories for me as I once worked behind the bar here and it often features in my novels.
Restaurant: The Moonlight Tandoori in Looe makes the best curry anywhere – and I’m a girl who’s eaten curries in Brick Lane, Southall and now the Caribbean too so I have a fair range of experience in this field!
Shop: Country store M A Grigg in St Austell. As well has having everything for our equine friends, Grigg’s also has far too many handbags, boots and gorgeous clothes as well as a
fantastic restaurant. Buying sacks of carrots and Mollichaff is even more fun when you can have lunch too and treat yourself. I have my eye on the pink show jumps…
Treat: A coffee at the Harbour Tea Rooms in Polperro. I don’t think there’s a coffee shop with a better view anywhere in the world. Magic: Riding my horse through standing stones The Hurlers on Bodmin Moor on a misty autumnal morning is a very spiritual experience for me. ‘Secret’ place : I absolutely love Kilminorth Woods in between Looe and Polperro, where ancient trees tangle the pathways and flashes
of the sparkling river can be glimpsed through the branches.
Sound: Seagulls! They drive me crackers when I’m fighting the latest battle in my ongoing Seagull Bin Bag War but the sound of their cries is enough to transport me home, no matter how far away I am.
Find all Ruth’s books at www.ruthsaberton.co.uk 37
YO! Sushi By Becky Sheaves
vividly remember the first time I ate sushi. It was in the 1980s in New York, where I had made a trip aged 19 to (naively) “see the world”. I was taken to a sushi restaurant by some friends over there, who spent a fair amount of time looking at the menu and saying: “Oh I don’t think you’ll like that”, at which I determinedly ordered it anyway. And sure enough I didn’t like it, and washed it down with an unwise amount of something called sake (which, I discovered, was strong rice wine), and felt, by the end of the meal, that I had eaten enough raw fish and seaweed to last a lifetime. One piece, in particular, stays with me: a round chunk of mushed rice, wrapped up in thick, dry black seaweed, topped off by glowing 1cm diameter orange bath beads, which turned out to be fish eggs. I thought then: Japanese food and I do not get on. So it was a good 10 years before I ate sushi again. Then, it was at a restaurant newly opened in London: “It’s really fun! The dishes come round on a little conveyor belt,” said my friends. And,
like the fashion-conscious 20-somethings that we mum is more adventurous and said she’d give it were, off we went to the very first UK branch of a try. YO! Sushi. Even so, I was surprised at just how busy it And it was much better. For a start, the seaweed was. All the tables were full but we could sit at was thinner and had less of a chewy tide-line vibe. the bar, our friendly and efficient front of house The rice wasn’t stodgy, there was barely a fish egg greeter told us. Within seconds we were perched in sight. And sight helped too: I on stools, sitting at a dinky little had plenty of time to look at the bar watching chefs frantically stirfood as it chugged past me on its frying and lots of dishes sailing by little train, to know what I was on a conveyor belt that goes right ‘I won’t eat raw in for and choose accordingly. I round the whole restaurant. The fi sh and that’s don’t know enough about Japaidea is, you grab as many dishes the end of it. nese cuisine to say which was the as you want. At the end they count more authentic experience, but I up the empties and charge you Especially not know which sort was nicer. accordingly. Each dish is colour for Sunday Since then YO! Sushi has been coded, with prices ranging from marching steadily across the £1.90 for a green-coloured plate to lunch,’ said country and a branch opened in £5 for a silver one. my husband Exeter two years ago. There’s The first thing to be aware of also one now in Plymouth, too. is that, these days, the menu is But still, I was short of takers not all sushi, by any manner of among my nearest and dearest means. In fact, many of our fellow when I tried to get someone to eat there with me. diners were going for ordering bowlfuls cooked to “I won’t eat raw fish and that’s the end of it, espeorder of noodles, curries and stir fries, with prices cially not for Sunday lunch,” said my husband, a around £4 each. I rather think that if I eat here sentiment echoed by our two youngest kids who again, I will do that too – but thanks to the busalso flat-out refused to come along. Happily, my tling atmosphere of the restaurant it was difficult
4 of the best Places serving Asian food
to catch the waiting staff’s eye and order some. Mum chose precisely two dishes: some crispy vegetable gyoza (stuffed dumplings) with a dipping sauce costing £3.40 and some edamame beans (£1.90) which are soy beans in their pods, liberally dressed in chunky salt – which, excitingly, I learned from the menu is Cornish sea salt. You squeeze the beans from their pods. Good stuff, if a little too salty, said Mum. I meanwhile, ate (I think)seven dishes, which tells you why I am trying to lose weight this January and Mum isn’t. But the joy of this sort of food is that it is extremely healthy. According to Slimmer’s World (of which I am a new and enthusiastic member) 100g of sushi is a mere 1.5 “syns” – which is partly why I was eating here in the first place. The menu here also lists the calorie value of every dish, and – for good measure – the chain has a very high rating for the sustainability of the fish they use, and they claim to source much of it (and the meat they use) locally. Anyway, while Mum was eating like a sparrow, I tucked in. I had chicken gyoza to her veggie version and some edamame beans of my own and then went on to have Yo! Rolls (£3.90 for two) which, I read later on the menu, is their signature dish: salmon, avocado, mayonnaise sushi rolls coated in orange smelt roe. Aaargh – fish eggs again! But this time they were so tiny I hadn’t noticed them. Then I had salmon and yuzu salsa tataki (£4.30), just for the sake of telling the kids I had eaten some properly raw fish – five slices of raw salmon in a cucumber and cherry tomato salsa. It was perfectly edible but not all that thrilling. Next I had beef tataki (£3.90), black pepper seared beef in a coriander dressing, which was terrific, and I also had two dishes of kaiso salad (£2.50 each), sesame-marinated Japanese seaweed, edamame, carrot, su-miso. It was very good
indeed – sweet, tasty, fresh and delicious, hence the two dishes. Finally, I picked up the strawberry cheesecake mochi (£4.30 ) which are soft rice cake balls with a strawberry cheesecake filling, biscuit crumb. Mum had one and I had the other. She thought hers was ‘all right’ and I thought mine was utterly disgusting: soft, faintly cheesy, sweet balls of bleugh. I’m going to make a sweeping generalisation here and say that most of the puds looked similarly weird/ revolting – processed and plasticky pastries with odd, non-dairy creams. So I had a plate of fresh fruit instead, which was fine. But apart from that, the meal was a stonking success and, at a shade over £35 for the two of us (bearing in mind one had eaten like a sparrow, the other most definitely had not) it was good value, too. Finally, a note on the drinks. You have taps at each place setting which dispense unlimited still or fizzy water (£1.10). Clever, and fun too. Though if I had to eat another of those cheesecake balls I would definitely have to resort to sake to wash it down. YO! Sushi, 8 Bedford Street, Exeter, 01392 331340
How they scored... Food
Lunch for two was £35.60
1 Chantek, Truro
Long-established Thai and South East Asian restaurant in the heart of Truro, with an open kitchen that’s fun to watch. This restaurant serves sushi as well as all sorts of Asian dishes. Dish of the day: Authentic Masaman lamb Price: Sharing dishes from £5 Contact: 01872 225071
2 Bird’s Nest, Tavistock
This Chinese offers eat-in and takeaway food and has a good reputation in Tavistock. The set menus are good value and all the usual traditional Chinese dishes you’d expect are here, done well. Dish of the day: Crispy king prawns in Shanghai sauce Price: Set menus from £16.95 per person Contact: 01822 610611
3 Tyepyedong, Exeter
A family-run noodle bar on Sidwell Street, this long-standing Japanese/ Chinese restaurant prides itself on additive-free dishes with no artificial flavourings. Dish of the day: Chicken udon noodles with Asian greens Price: Mains around £6 Contact: 01392 251888
4 Café Asia, Kingsbridge
This restaurant’s head chef, Siew Lung, is Malaysian and has cooked in five-star restaurants all around the world. Here, he offers up excellent South East Asian cuisine. Dish of the day: Thai green curry topped with fresh Thai basil Price: Mains around £9 Contact: 01548 853818
Ingredient of the Week
Dried apricots with Tim Maddams
here’s something about a dried aptree is the harvest undertaken. ricot. Not in a “Theres something I suspect that they are fairly awesome when a bit odd about him...” kind of way. eaten fresh but when you dry out a fruit like More a fascination. All good qualthat, and do so naturally in the sun, it’s a little ity dried fruit has a shade of this like the ageing process of wine. Something power, but for me, the (un-sulhappens that transforms the phured, sun-dried and un-tamperfect fresh fruit to somehow pered-with) dried apricot is the make the dried product simply true artist of the bunch. better, deeper in flavour and How can one How can one, shrivelled and more satisfying. uninspiring piece of food deWhen you commit to only shrivelled and liver so much caramel, honey, eating seasonal fresh fruit and uninspiring perfume and sweetness? When veg you will find yourself more piece of food you think about it, it’s obviand more often at the mercy of ous. These are the big fruits, the dried fruit merchants as deliver so much left on the tree, grown to be you seek out winter alternacaramel, honey dried and therefore not stopped tives to apples. So you should do from growing. They haven’t a little digging before you buy and perfume? been picked in their first flush your dried fruits. As ever, there of youth to get them straight are definitely the good, the bad off to market before they have and the ugly. I always look for the chance to form the smallest organic or, at least, sun-dried blemish - or even the beginnings of a character. fruit from independent heath food shops or As a result they have the chance to mature natudelis. They will taste better but will cost a little rally, enjoy life to the full and only when they more. I think you will find they’re worth it. simply must be picked or they will rot on the @TimGreenSauce
I like to cook with my fruit, often in savoury dishes which (unfortunately) is disapproved of by Mrs M as being ‘weird’. “You can’t eat fruit with meat. Except apple sauce and pork because that’s different” is roughly how the conversation goes. Well, dried apricots do lend themselves well to savoury and spicy cookery but for now let’s think about pudding. Simply chop up a few of these little beauties and throw them over yoghurt, topping off with lightly toasted pistachio nuts and a drizzle of honey and it will be undoubtedly delightful. But steep a few in boiling water and then drain off before dressing in apple brandy and a few chilli flakes, leave them in the fridge for a week or so to get to know each other and you are in a different league altogether. Then take these and bake them in an almond tart and you will find yourself the sudden favourite in the family.
Tim Maddams is a Devon chef and writer who often appears on the River Cottage TV series 40
Tryanuary Triumphs It’s the last week of January and the #tryanuary campaign has proved to be a big success. It’s all about trying something different in the pub or bar this January and supporting your local, as well as raising money for charity, too. There’s still a week left to participate – visit www.tryanuary. co.uk for more details.
talks beer “ Beer of the week I’m still enjoying my winter warmers, and there’s a few I enjoy more than a flagon of Gwaf Tan from Tintagel Brewery. (“Flagon?” Yes, it sounds appropriate!). Deep red/brown with a smooth, rich body, the palate oozes boozesoaked dried fruit, with date sweetness and some Morello cherry notes. There’s a lingering, bittersweet finish. At 5.8% ABV, a cracking winter brew.
ager, lager, la-ger, lager, lager,” its styling cues from German Helles (‘pale beer’). sang Underworld in their 1995 Again, clean and fresh, this one has slightly more work Born Slippy – who can forget? malt profile in its balance of flavours. It’s proven What’s not specific is which type a popular alternative to mainstream lager of lager they were talking about. brands on bars but has also become an export I’m suspecting it might have been one of those phenomenon, selling to more than 20 countries. big brands which purports to be The word lager simply means foreign and exotic, but is made ‘storage’ in German – it’s the in a facility in Northampton or same route as our word ‘larder’. South Wales. A pale yellow fizz It is distinguished from ales by Clean and fresh, that looks lovely in the glass, having yeast that ferments at the Sharp’s Cornish amber nectar, indeed, to the eye, bottom of the vessel and also by Pilsner was but which has a flavour profile so fermenting for a much longer unmemorable most drinkers can time, but at a lower temperature. actually named only remember it tasting of, well, Hence the ‘storage’ definition in the best lager at bland lager. the name. Safe to say that a lot of Poor old lager. It has a bad the cheaper, mainstream brands the World Beer press, and yet it can be saved. It don’t enjoy these long fermenAwards in 2013 can be dragged from the gutter, tation times (the accountants dusted down and placed on a pedwould have a fit), but there are estal. Sharp’s Cornish Pilsner is plenty of quality brands coming inspired by the classic Pilsners through now from big players of the Czech Republic and was actually named such as Camden Town and BrewDog, the latthe world’s best lager at the World Beer Awards ter’s This. Is. Lager. Now a regular feature on JD in 2013. Yes, it’s that good. Clean and fresh, with Wetherspoon counters. citrus and herbal notes, it works well with food, A good lager presents the possibility that a with scallops and mackerel particularly recom- fizz drinker can be weaned onto something more mended (a proper Westcountry meal!). tasty. “So many things to see and do,” as UnderAlso proving popular in Cornwall is St world sang. Darren Norbury runs the expert website Austell’s Korev (Cornish for ‘beer’), which takes www.beertoday.co.uk @beertoday
FESTIVAL FUN The community of Grampound, in mid-Cornwall, will gather together next month to celebrate malt and hops with a village family-friendly beer festival. The dates for the diary are February 6 and 7, with the doors open at the Village Hall from 6.30-11pm on Friday, and 11am-10.30pm on Saturday. 41
Seville oranges are in the shops right now for their short (and not very sweet) season. Marmalade: A Bittersweet Cookbook has just been published by Sarah Randell, food director of Sainsburyâ€™s Magazine. Hereâ€™s her recipe for classic breakfast marmalade...
CLASSIC SEVILLE ORANGE MARMALADE (Makes about 7 x 340g jars) 1kg bitter Seville oranges Juice of 1 fat lemon 2kg granulated sugar DAY ONE
Put the radio on. Halve the oranges and, using the tip of a knife, flick out any obvious pips on to a double-layered square of gauze (or muslin), about 30 x 30cm. Squeeze the juice from the oranges into a very large bowl (or a large lidded plastic box), add any extra pips from the squeezer to the gauze and add any fleshy bits of orange to the bowl.
Now, cut each orange half into quarters and, using a knife, scrape out the membranes inside - put these and any more pips you find on to the gauze square. The next job is to shred the pithy peel as uniformly as possible into thin, medium or chunky shreds, as you wish; discard the buttons from the ends of the fruit as you go. Transfer the shredded peel to the bowl too.
Gather the gauze square together to form a money-bag shape, twist the top and tie it with string - an extra pair of hands comes in useful here. When you tie the string, leave one long end - you can use this to tie the gauze pouch onto the pan handle and immerse it in the liquid when you cook the peel.
Put the pouch into the bowl to join the peel and juice. Add 2.25 litres of cold water, making sure everything is as immersed in the water as it can be, then cover with cling film (or a lid) and leave it overnight. I usually put the bowl in the cellar or garage.
The next day, tip everything from the bowl into a preserving pan and tie the gauze pouch to the pan handle so it sits on the base of the pan. Bring the whole lot to simmering point over a low-medium heat and simmer the peel until it is really soft - you should be able to squish it easily in your fingers; this will take about oneand-a-half hours.
Once the peel is soft enough, remove the gauze pouch from the pan, pressing it against the side with the back of a wooden spoon as you do so, to extract as much pectin as possi-
ble from the pith and pips - put the pouch into a bowl and leave it for 10 minutes to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, halve and squeeze the lemon and tip the lemon juice into the pan with the sugar; stir over a low heat. Give the gauze pouch a final squeeze to extract the last of the pectin into the marmalade.
Preheat the oven to 140C/fan 120C/gas 1. Keep stirring the marmalade from time to time to help dissolve the sugar. Put a few saucers in the freezer for the wrinkle test and put your jars and lids in the oven for 15-20 minutes to sterilise. The wrinkle test: place a spoonful of marmalade on a very cold saucer. Push your finger through the marmalade on the plate -
youâ€™re looking for it to wrinkle and not flood back in to fill the gap. If itâ€™s not ready, turn the pan back on, simmer for five minutes and test again.
Now, bring the marmalade up to a rolling boil and boil it for 20-25 minutes or until it has reached setting point (use the wrinkle test). When the marmalade is ready, take the pan off the heat. Leave to settle for 15 minutes: this will help to distribute the peel evenly and make it less hazardous to pot. Give it a gentle stir in one direction to disperse any air bubbles. Using a measuring jug and a funnel, transfer your marmalade into hot, sterilised jars. Seal and leave to cool completely. Store the jars of golden marmalade in a dry, cool place, where it will keep for at least a year. 43
Heart it or hate it With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, a little red heart has, fittingly, been declared the ‘word’ of the year, Katie Wright looks at the rise and rise of the emoji. The what? Here’s your guide to digi-illustrations, in all their glory t’s official: This is the era of the emoji. For the first time in its 15year history, the Global Language Monitor has named a symbol, the red heart-shaped emoji, as the most used word last year (2014). Every year, the organisation tracks English language web, print and social media to determine the most frequently used words, phrases and names across the globe.
Digital jargon has featured prominently in the list before, with ‘dot.com’ taking the top spot in the inaugural year, and ‘hashtag’ placing in the top three for the past two years. But this is the first time an emoji has made the cut. Originating in Japan in the late Nineties (‘e’ means picture and ‘moji’ means character in Japanese), the alphabet of tiny ‘ideographs’ allows text message senders to express more using fewer characters.
More extensive than ‘emoticons’ (pictures that represent emotions), there are around a thousand emoji ‘ideographs’ now recognised by the Unicode Consortium, the gatekeepers of internet code. They denote everything from advice to instructions. After gaining popularity in Asia, mobile manufacturers started rolling out the emoji keyboard to devices in western countries around 2011, and by 2014 those little round yellow
[[ Emoji originated in Japan in the late Nineties. The ‘e’ means picture and ‘moji’ means character
gadget notebook HI TECH: snow fun
25 January 2015
If the recent snows caught you napping, get some of these for the next big freeze
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faces were inescapable on social networks and messaging apps. So why is the red heart top of the charts for 2014? A separate analysis by statistical blog fivethirtyeight.com of emojis used on Twitter shows that the top 10 is dominated by positive pictures including the ‘heart eyes’ face and the heart playing card. In spite of all the hateful hashtags and rows that emerge on social sites, it seems that we’re actually rather a loved-up bunch. Does this mean the word of the year is always going to be a picture from now on? Like hashtag, the heart may hang around for a few years, but I think we’re on course for Peak Emoji any day now. Just as that annoying vowel-less text speak was unavoidable when mobile phones became universal, but eventually waned, I believe an emoji decline is on the cards. They won’t disappear completely, but I think as the novelty wears off, and teens are put off when their parents start busting out cartoon cats in text messages, we’ll be saying ‘unamused face’ ‘waving hand’ to the emoji.
Light speed Made of aluminium, this lightweight sledge is easily folded away so you can take it just about everywhere - and the seat attaches with Velcro Wolf Tornado - £74.99 from amazon. co.uk
Look out! This will not only help mould your snowballs, but add oomph to your chucking technique! Boyz Toyz Snowball Thrower £3.99 from gooutdoors.co.uk
No Snow? This caterpillar track toboggan is great alternative, as it runs on grass. Clever. Grass sledge - £267 from shop. grass-sledge.co.uk
My life man and boy
Things that go bump... Phil Goodwin, father of James, four, is trying to deal with childhood nightmares e all love a good monster, don’t we? On film, anyway. For my money you have got a long way to beat 80s Brit horror flick, Hellraiser. Solve the mysterious puzzle box and into your world marches a brutal gang of deformed torturers, led by the iconic Pinhead, played with by my fellow scouser Doug Bradley. Interestingly (to me, at least) Doug Bradley went, along with the film’s writer and director Clive Barker, to Liverpool’s Quarry Bank High School. This is an establishment which has always been more famous for producing a certain John Winston Lennon than it was for educating TV’s Les Dennis, of Family Fortunes fame. But I digress. The reason I speak of monsters is because my son has recently become aware of their existence. I feel for him, because I too once feared their malignant, lurking presence as I tried to nod off. All these years later James tells me they still to occupy the same darkened spaces as they did during my youth – ie, in the cupboard and under the bed. I try my best to re-assure the lad there is no such thing but it cuts no ice. He knows scary things are out there, wandering the hinterland, creeping around in the shadows, prowling, waiting, patiently, for the right moment… to attack. My memories of very early childhood are a bit sketchy. So much so that I am quite jealous when I come across people with almost total recall of toddlerdom. But you never forget the scary stuff and a few things do stand out. I vividly recall the intense fear I sometimes felt when trying to sleep, the terror and absolute certainty that there was something there, lurking. Later, I had a very bad series of dreams about a reptilian creature from which I could
never quite escape, a crocodile-headed creature in trench-coat and fedora hat with crunching jaws and sharp teeth. God knows from where this abominable creature came – half alligator,
These monsters still occupy the same space as they did in my youth: in the cupboard and under the bed
half Sam Spade – but it terrorised my sleep for years. It was certainly not because I was subjected to horror movies in my tender years – my love of slasher movies came much later on. In fact, I think by the age of ten the most frightening thing I had ever seen was Carry On Screaming. So clearly these creatures were formed in the deepest recesses of my brain. Like the monster spawned by Dr Morbius in another of my favourite movies, the sci-fi classic Forbidden Planet, it was a hideous product of my sub-conscious mind. And now young James is suffering the illeffects of his own vivid imagination. He has always avoided one or two of the tales in our Stories for Boys anthology, especially the tale of Sinbad and the Cyclops. And the giant in Jack and the Beanstalk has always raised a shiver. So now, every night after the stories are finished in our big bed, he has to make his way to his own without touching the floor – which means walking while stepping on my feet. I tell him there is no such thing as monsters. And I honestly didn’t think I had done anything to encourage this until recently. Then I remembered we used to read Scary Street, a pop-up book of classic monsters in everyday situations, like Frankenstein the dentist, Count Dracula in a milk bar… a werewolf postman. We began with it when he was two - it all seemed like a bit of fun. Anyway, after I tucked him the other night, he told me: “You know when you get bitten by a vampire you become a vampire?” Well, we all know that’s on the money. I wonder if he will find any solace in knowing that driving a stake through their heart can see off the armies of the undead? No, perhaps not. I will keep that to myself.
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Sidmouth Seaside Serenity Beautifully situated on the east Devon coast, Sidmouth Harbour Hotel enjoys panoramic views over Sidmouth and the magnificent Jurassic Coastline. The recent introduction of 22 new bedrooms, with stylish décor and stunning new design has welcomed a relaxed coastal elegance to this landmark hotel. Book in to one of the hotel’s new bedrooms for New England style interiors, set against the town’s timeless charm.
Dinner, bed and breakfast rates from £109 per couple, per night.
To book your stay please call 01395 513 252 quoting ‘West’ www.sidmouth-harbour-hotel.co.uk
Terms and Conditions: Valid until 26th March, excluding 13-20th February. Rates are based midweek stays in a Courtyard room. Supplements apply for upgrading room types and weekend stays. Saturdays may require a 2 night stay. Rates are pre-paid rates and cancellations are non-refundable.